Kevin Ragemi, one of the audio designers behind one celeste, has detailed how the team designed the game’s unique dialogue design.
celeste is an indie platformer that was launched in 2018. In the game, players control the protagonist Celeste as she travels down a treacherous mountain. The game was criticized upon release and maintained a score of 88 on Metacritic.
Fans and critics alike praised the game’s soundtrack and overall sound design. ragme broke one of the most requested game elements on twitter yesterday, celesteof dialogue. The dialogue is completely synthesized but it seems as though a human voice could have delivered it.
Ragemi detailed the process behind making celesteDialogue in a tweet thread, which states that the team began by exploring simple synth noises to find the right tone.
Using Fruity Loops Studio (FL Studio), the team determined the tone and timing and then began to observe how those sounds would naturally change with speech patterns.
Essentially, using a parametric EQ in FL Studio, we modeled what are called “formants” – that is, naturally occurring spectral peaks in human vocal sounds. These spectral peaks have specific frequency positions and relationships, and they look something like this: pic.twitter.com/m9R3Nd6H6y
— kevin regamey (@regameyk) July 17, 2021
The team then broke down the emotional boundaries for each character in the game and figured out what types of sounds they could make for each emotional state. The team settled on the tech they were happy with for each state and then turned it over to FMOD Studio, an audio engine used for video games.
celeste Speech loops the audio silently until it is time for a character to speak. The game then sends character images to FMOD so that the engine can match the appropriate emotional state to a sound.
FMOD cycles through a random sequence of syllables, each of which was randomized. The hub area of all these audio sounds also allowed Ragame to fine-tune the speech when needed.
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